Dairy raises price it pays district’s farmers for milk

Whitby Dairy Farmers at the EDF congress in Falkenberg, Sweden.  L to R John Chapman, Rob Summerson, Chris Foster, Martin Burtt, Angela Hodgson, Jon Thornes (UKDS), Trevor Hodgson, Chris Stockdale, Peter Beeforth, Andrew Brass, Keith Walshaw, Tony Hill
Whitby Dairy Farmers at the EDF congress in Falkenberg, Sweden. L to R John Chapman, Rob Summerson, Chris Foster, Martin Burtt, Angela Hodgson, Jon Thornes (UKDS), Trevor Hodgson, Chris Stockdale, Peter Beeforth, Andrew Brass, Keith Walshaw, Tony Hill
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A company has given its 20 dairy farmer milk suppliers from the Whitby area a boost in confidence after the hardships caused by the poor spring and an even worse summer and winter last year.

Durham-based Rock Farm Dairy, took a large group of local dairy farmers to the European Dairy Farmers congress in Sweden.

There they learnt how Swedish dairy farmers manage their high input and high output milk processing system and the strengths and challenges faced by other European dairy farmers.

One of the farmers who made the trip is Chris Foster who is the fourth generation custodian of his family run farm at Lealholm where he milks 150 largely Holstein cows. He said: “The trip to Sweden was a real eye opener for me.

“For the first time ever I had the chance to talk to other farmers from across Europe which made me realise that we are not alone and we all face very similar challenges.”

From September 1, Rock Farm will raise the price it pays farmers for their milk by 1p per litre across all volume bands above 500,000 litres per year.

Dairy operations manager Keith Gregory said he was delighted at the good news and said: “We want to work closely with dairy farmers in the Whitby area and develop long-term partnerships with them.

A fair and sustainable price paid for the milk they supply to us is central to this, as is our desire to help our farmers develop and improve their business in any way we can.”